Feature idea: mid-level save and exit to menu / auto-save


#1

While playing DQ1, especially on the long challenge levels, I would have liked the ability to be able to just take a long break by saving the current level progress and quitting the game. For DQ2, the ability to save and exit mid-level could be useful for longer levels.

This can obviously be abused (just save every so often in the level, and if the tank-that-is-not-quite-a-turtle is hit, reload the game). To help prevent this, the option could be Save-and-Return-to-Main-Menu. Continuing would bring you right back into battle.

A side effect of implementing this is that it allows the levels themselves to be expanded even more and last longer, since there is less of a time constraint.

Another side effect is that as long as the save state can happen quickly enough, the game could auto-save every so often to help guard against crashes. (Such as every so many in-game ticks.) Another possibility is to offer the player an option to load from a previous save state in-game if they fail miserably. This could either be done as a penalty (XP/currency/summon points) or to allow the levels to be harder.


#2
  1. I don’t really like the idea. The battles aren’t supposed to last, say, 30 minutes. Besides, this could be abused, like you said.
  2. Save-and-exit? Well, without the saving part, this is already implemented. :slight_smile:
  3. That is implemented in DQ1 already too, and it wont be scrapped in DQ2 for sure! :wink:

#3

I could see this being an issue in some sort of Marathon or Endless mode maps, but if Lars is trying to keep the levels reasonably short other than these optional side-quests, then I have to agree with the first comment that it’s probably not worth going out of the way to implement.

A lot of games have a save system that automatically overwrites frequently to avoid abuse, though sometimes it’s as simple as exiting the game and making a copy of a folder if you want to get around it. Anyway, the integrity of what it means to accomplish feat X would probably not make it out alive. Though Defender’s Quest hasn’t really ever been about Rogue-like hardcore bragging rights, so this other issue might not be that important.


#4

I’ve already been planning some sort of feature like this. Of course, generally battles shouldn’t last long enough to require this feature, but we have some bonus levels that are just butt-grindingly long. And on a lot of those, after a while you know exactly what to do for the first 10 minutes, the challenge comes after that. What’s the point of doing that same 10 minutes of stuff over and over just to fail why trying something new on the actual hard bit? You’ve already proven you can beat the first part, the challenge comes later.

The technical challenge here is that there’s no easy way to save mid-battle with all the monsters and particles and attacks and cooldowns flying all over the screen. Trying to properly save and reload that monstrous soup of game state is just asking for neverending bugs.

So, the way to handle this is to put checkpoints or something in the middle of certain battles, and this only makes sense for sufficiently long battles.

The way it will probably work:
–One of the “waves” is not actually a wave, but a checkpoint.
–When you reach it, it stops the wave bar and gives you a chance to clear out any remaining enemies.
–Once all enemies have been defeated, the checkpoint will bookmark your position in that level.
---->This is because it’s very easy to just mark where your defenders are standing, how much PSI you have, etc.
---->It may or may not make sense to refresh your dudes to full health / cooldown at this point (but not refresh your mcguffin’s PSI)
–From then on, you can reset the battle from the start (and lose the checkpoint), or reset from the checkpoint
–If you quit the battle, your checkpoint is preserved until you start a different battle or change your party configuration somehow.
–If you go back to the battle, you can jump back in at your checkpoint, or start from scratch (erasing the checkpoint).

That’s what I’m thinking for now.

And I don’t really care about save-scumming / abuse. Hero Mode is easy enough to cheat at (as are all the achievements), hell we even have the free 300%, no-penalty XP option, and plenty of people still feel bound by honor to not cheat.

Basically, what it comes down to, is am I creating a game that is fun and challenging, without optimal strategies that are painful? For instance, that’s why we don’t have any minigames where you have to manually pick up coins or whatever with the mouse. It’s tedious and not fun, but if you want to win you’ll do it and you resent having to. So I want to fix the very real problem of longer battles that force you to replay the same bits over and over.


#5

Ah, that works out much better, since the checkpoints are not “made” by users. Balances the game in some aspects. Now I like it!


#6

— Begin quote from "larsiusprime"

The way it will probably work:
–One of the “waves” is not actually a wave, but a checkpoint.
–When you reach it, it stops the wave bar and gives you a chance to clear out any remaining enemies.
–Once all enemies have been defeated, the checkpoint will bookmark your position in that level.

— End quote

Think it would be possible to make that checkpoint game state
a) optional (as in “I might not be sure that I want to save this checkpoint and lose the previous one”
b) each saved into a separate file (make each save slot a directory and split stuff into multiple files in general, please)

This would allow easy sharing…


#7

Optional checkpoint saved wouldn’t be so bad. Game crashing/Dying in battle and starting over again from the start of the level was never a problem for me in DQ1 because a) I was lucky enough to not have the game crash on me far into a battle, b) Chances are a lot of the times when I died, I needed to rethink my strategy more than a couple of waves ago [bad positioning, wasted psi…] and c) The battles weren’t crazy long anyways.

But I definitely don’t have a problem with it, and could see the advantage on the longer bonus stages. I would probably use it if in say a 40 wave battle, I never have a problem with the first 35 or so, but it’s always that last 5, but rather than constantly repeating the first 35 over and over again…